2/10/2005

Hands Off Social Security!

Mass media reporting on the all-important Social Security debate is turning out to be mere stenography. The media, as usual, are reporting what Bush says about Social Security as though that were the truth. The media are not doing enough independent research to either substantiate or disprove Bush's claims. When Bush says that Social Security will be flat broke by 2042, this lie is presented as fact in news stories. As we all learned during the build-up to the Iraq war, if a lie is repeated often enough in the media, it becomes accepted as the truth.

Social Security is a well-run federal program. Millions of retirees, survivors and people with disabilities rely on Social Security. The Bush plan will result in benefit cuts for recipients who rely on it, yet brokerage firms will reap big, new profits from management fees and commissions. Besides, we already have individual retirement accounts in which people can invest: They are called IRAs.

We, as a society, have to think about the greater good. We cannot allow people to withdraw their portion out of the Social Security system and gamble with it in the stock market. If any changes are needed in Social Security, then the rich and super-rich should have to pay more into the system so it will be there for the working men and women whose lifetime of labor made them rich in the first place. They owe us that much.

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